“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We often encounter housewives known for their cooking that outmatches even the performances of professional chefs. They work round the clock in the kitchen and are satisfied with the compliments they garner from family and friends. Well, it’s high time such ladies make the utmost use of the Internet and let the entire world know about their innate talents.
Sunayana Gupta is one such homemaker who decided to harness her potential and the outcome was a splendid website named Sunayana’s Kitchen. Read more for some juice!
Sunayana could you tell us about your life before Sunayana’s Kitchen? What was your previous work?
I was born and brought up in Lucknow . As soon as I qualified my MBA, I got married and settled in Gurgaon . While being a homemaker, I also got associated with my husband’s venture ‘Careerkhoj Consulting’. Apart from this, I have a keen interest in home décor and ‘Arts’ too and love to spend my spare time in sketching and painting. Most of my paintings reflect Rajasthani culture .
When did you come with the idea of a cooking website?
Starting my cooking website was not all of a sudden thought. Actually, I had a keen interest in cooking since childhood and was always ready to learn something new. Experimenting something or the other in kitchen was my favourite past time. Family and friends always appreciated my food. I even got a pretty good response from my in-laws and relatives after marriage. In fact , many friends in abroad also liked my recipes . All this motivated me to come up with my website and I am really glad with the kind of response I’m getting from people.
On your website you have mentioned that you’ve never attended any cooking classes, then how do you manage to come up with different recipes?
Yes, it is absolutely right that I have never attended any cooking classes nor do I have any professional degree in cooking, yet I am happy that I can make lip-smacking dishes .
As I told, ‘Cooking’ was my utmost interest since I was a kid and I was always open for culinary experiments , so creating any new dish was like a trial and error method and a learning phase . I still love to play with the spices.
As you are basically from Lucknow, does your website feature only Awadhi/Lucknawi food or other cuisines as well?
No … not at all, besides some Awadhi delicacies, I have tried my level best to synchronize some authentic recipes from different parts of my country such as Rajasthani , Gujarati , South Indian , Kashmiri etc. Besides, I have also posted some continental dishes like Pasta, Custards, Mocktails , Pancakes , Cutlets etc. ….. and yes, there’s a lot more in my secret bag. It’s just the beginning.
What differentiates your cooking website from others?
Love this question! I came across various cooking websites (No offences to anyone), but after reading their recipes, I realized that ingredients like Blue Cheese, Avacados etc are not easily available in the Indian market till you scour at least a dozen stores.
So my cooking website is different from others in various aspects. While selecting the ‘Dishes’, I have given due consideration that they should be ‘Simple’, ‘Delicious’ and could be easily made with ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen shelves and refrigerator. I want to convey that it’s a complete ‘Myth’ that for making ‘Exotic Dishes’ you require ‘Exotic Ingredients’. Simple things can be turned into ‘Extra Ordinary’. So, in a nutshell…. SIMPLICITY and AVAILABILITY of ingredients are the key features of my website.
Besides, my website is a ‘Collection’ of various cuisines.
What kind of challenges have you faced in setting up Sunayana’s Kitchen? What has been the toughest decision you had to make lately, if any?
Since, I don’t have any professional degree in cooking , so the biggest challenge was to prove myself. Usually people think that unless you have any degree in the Hospitality Industry, you can’t make anything apart from the regular Dal-Roti and making something ‘Truly Exotic or Unique’ is completely at par. I just wanted to prove that it’s a complete ‘Myth’.
I am a mother of an infant, so the toughest decision was about managing my time. Whether I would be able to manage my personal and professional priorities equally or not? But, with my husband’s support I am able to handle it pretty well.
What kind of response has your website received so far? How do you wish to take your website to the next level?
Oh! I must say that I have received an overwhelming response from people so far. I get mails everyday in which people appreciate my recipes. Besides, there are many who have put their demands about some particular recipes and also raised queries about the dishes. So, you see I am continuously engaged in all these stuffs. Now my website always keeps me glued to my laptop and kitchen.
About taking it to the next level, I would say that it’s just a start. There’s a lot of work to do.
Finally, what advice would you like to give to others who are thinking of launching their own cooking websites?
Be honest, Be yourself, and never try to copy someone .
We all are blessed with some kind of a unique talent…some manage to acknowledge it while others continue to drag their lives with the tag of a ‘Mediocre’ human being. Sunayana is an inspiration for all those who tend to disregard their own skills or are diffident to try something new. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks even if you make mistakes.